Rand Fishkin, the co-founder of Moz, announced his new company after officially leaving his day-to-day operations at Moz yesterday. He is starting a company named SparkToro, a technology platform in the influencer and audience intelligence marketing space.
Fishkin started the well-known SEO platform over a decade ago with his mother, Gillian. In fact, he dropped out of college to make the company now known as Moz about 17 years ago. Last July we learned he was leaving Moz after stepping down as CEO back in 2014.
Fishkin described his departure from Moz as a four out of 10 on a scale of zero to 10 where zero is “fired and escorted out of the building by security” and where 10 is “left entirely of his own accord on wonderful terms.” He wrote:
That makes today a hard one, cognitively and emotionally. I have a lot of sadness, a heap of regrets, and a smattering of resentment too. But I am, deeply, deeply thankful to all the people who supported me and Moz over the last two decades. The experience of building a company like this, of helping to change and mature an industry, of learning so much about entrepreneurship, marketing, and myself has been an honor and a privilege.
Fishkin said he still owns about 24 percent of Moz in outstanding shares, is still on Moz’s board of directors as the chairperson and remains the single largest shareholder. Because of his stake and the people there, Fishkin says he wants to see Moz succeed and continue to do well.
You can read more about Fishkin’s thoughts on leaving and his future plans on his new blog.